80% of chronic disease is preventable.

It is not our destiny to die of stroke or suffer from dementia. And we can ski, surf or snowboard into our 70’s and 80’s.

The Challenge:

Is it easy? No. Simple? Yes.

Eat well. Exercise. Sleep regularly. Manage stress. And spend time with your loved ones. Rarely does a prescription sound this fun and have only positive side effects.

The challenge to executing the above can be viewed as 1) cultural or 2) personal.

The Opportunity:

From a cultural perspective, we need wide-scale public health shifts to push our default pathway in a positive direction. I.e. healthy school snacks, wider sidewalks and better public transport.

From an individual perspective, we need to engage our pre-frontal cortex. We need to better leverage the part of our brain dedicated to long-term planning, making tough decisions and discipline.

The beautiful part about the “ Lifestyle Vital Signs” outlined above, is that each one is currently prescribed in units of time. In order to meditate, you need to plan it in your day.

Same with exercise. Yoga. Or a healthy breakfast…

In the din of healthcare debate and trillion-dollar Q&A, what needs to pierce through the noise is that the answer is here. It’s right in front of us.

What’s missing is implementation.

How do I ensure one hour of exercise per day, seven hours of sleep, and still take care of my kids and go to work? This is not a problem metformin, Lipitor or the latest vagal nerve stimulator can solve. This is a time management problem.

Originally published at medium.com